Coronavirus: Samsung, Facebook, Donate Devices To NHS

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Samsung donates 2,000 robust smartphones and other equipment for NHS Nightingale hospitals, as Facebook donates 2,050 Portal devices

Two tech giants have made sizeable donations to the UK’s NHS to help its fight in this country against the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Samsung and Facebook has donated thousands of devices to the NHS, as the national lockdown has thrust the use of technology front and centre.

The BBC reported that Samsung is donating 2,000 smartphones to the NHS, for staff to use in the Nightingale hospitals.

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NHS donations

Samsung’s donation will be made up of Galaxy XCover 4s phones, which are designed to be more robust and can be used while wearing gloves, the BBC reported.

Samsung has said that NHS England had already ordered an extra 20,000 phones and tablets, which it had agreed to supply at cost price, without taking a profit.

Meanwhile Facebook is also donating 2,050 of its Portal video-calling screens, which will be deployed to hospitals and care homes in several locations including Essex, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Surrey.

These Portals utilise artificial intelligence during video calls to help keep a conservation going whilst people are moving around a room.

NHS England will keep the equipment without charge once the pandemic ends.

“Technology companies big and small continue to pledge their resources and expertise to support our NHS and social care system in these unprecedented times,” NHSX digital transformation director Iain O’Neil was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“Technology has never been so important to providing one of life’s most essential things – the ability to communicate with the people we love regardless of where they are,” said O’Neil.

Other kit

Samsung, besides the donation of 2,000 smartphones, will also install up to 35 sanitising machines at NHS Nightingale hospitals, which use ultraviolet UVC radiation to sterilise items.

Samsung is also sending mobile workshop vans to NHS Nightingale hospitals to offer NHS staff free device repairs, and it is donating advertising space on internet-connected Samsung TVs owned by the general public to display NHS health messages.

“Every one of us is deeply indebted to the NHS and frontline supporters,” Francis Chun, chief executive of Samsung UK and Ireland was quoted as saying.

“However small the comfort may be, we hope that technology can alleviate some of the anguish this pandemic is inflicting on those most impacted,” Chun added.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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